The Guns of Navarone Connections

Posted on August 16, 2013


It is impossible not to be keen on the various connections the James Bond films hold to other films and film series.
One such film is “The Guns of Navarone” (1961).
As mentioned in the post about Melina Havelock “For yor eyes only” screenplay writers Dick Maibaum and Michael Wilson set a large portion of the film in Greece as they drew inspiration from ”The Guns of Navarone” . This film alongside Hitchcock’s ”North by Northwest” (1959) was stated by ‘Cubby’ Broccoli to have been precursors of the Bond films.

navarone allThe obvious connections to the Bond series are in the cast.
David Niven in the role of Dusty Miller, of course played James Bond in “Casino Royale 1967“.
Walter Gotell in the role of the rather sympathetic German officer Muesel played Morzeny in “From Russia with Love” and General Gogol in “The Spy who loved me“, “Moonraker“, “For your eyes only“, “Octopussy“, “A View to a Kill” and “The Living Daylights.”
gotell navarone
In an uncredited role as a German soldier we find the stuntman legend Bob Simmons who has worked on numerous Bond films and was actually the first on-screen 007 doubling for Sean Connery in the gunbarrel scene in “Dr No“. His biggest part in the Bond films was that of Jacques Boiter in “Thunderball“.
Bob Simmons is named in the stunt crew of “The Guns of Navarone” alongside quite a few James Bond stuntmen. Namely George Leech, Bill Cummings, Jimmy Lodge, Arthur Howell, Joe Dunne, Jack Silk, and three members of the notable stuntmen family Powell: Nosher, Eddie and Joe.
Well, almost all stuntmen from “The Guns of Navarone” have also worked on the James Bond films.

There are also some things in the “Navarone” script that is similar to some of the Bond films. For instance the part of Admiral Jensen who assigns Captain Mallory and the others their mission much like the Secret Service Admiral “M“. Also the name, “Mallory” (the main lead played by Gregory Peck) is nowadays the surname of the present “M”. Hardly a coincidence.
The other lead Andrea (Anthony Quinn) is determined to kill the British officer Mallory after the war as he holds Mallory responsible for the detah of his family. In the end of the film the two have become friends, fighting their common enemy. It is not unlike the relationship between Bond and Anya Amasova in “The Spy who loved me“.

The Guns of Navarone Niven, Peck, QuinnStarting from the beginning, it is  evident that “For your eyes only” has been inspired by “The Guns of Navarone”. This is particularly apparent in the finale of the film when the small group of Bond, Melina and Colombo’s men (much like the Navarone band of saboteurs) are to raid Kristatos hideout on the Greek mountain.
The Bond climbing scene is quite similar to Mallory’s with the hammering of spikes into the mountain The sudden loud and flying bird coming out from the cliff is basically copied exactly from “The Guns of Navarone” and “For your eyes only” director John Glen made this his trademark for his Bond films.
Such as sudden bird is also featured in “Octopussy”, “The Living Daylights” and “Licence to Kill.” This is mentioned on the DVD documentary “Inside For your eyes only.”
I am not sure about “A View to a Kill”. There should be a bird in there somewhere but at the moment I can’t recall any.